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Posts tagged with: CrisisPk

Lawyers rally tear gassed in Karachi

Breaking News : Lawyers protesting at the City Courts Karachi are being beaten, tear gassed and several have been arrested

More updates can be posted as comments here

Aitzaz Ahsan Finally Released

Breaking News: Aitzaz Ahsan has just been allowed to exit his house arrest confinement and is at the moment addressing journalists outside his house. He has resolved to continue his struggle for the restoration of the Judiciary and has planned for a grand rally on March 9th the day one year ago the CJP Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was disposed by Musharraf. One must give due credit to the untiring efforts of the volunteers of the Student Action Committee for having waged this battle since Nov 3rd.

It is definitely a news worth celebrating, but the struggle must continue for the sake of Pakistan

RUMOR MILL: Zardari and Musharraf (rep) inside US Embassy

It is being reported (1500 PST Geo News) that a high level meeting is underway inside the US Embassy with Asif Ali Zardari and representatives of Pervaiz Musharraf. The meeting is supposed to be with the US Ambassador and his staff trying to negotiate a peace / alliance between PML-Q and PPP. The report has just been confirmed that the meeting did take place and is now over

In other reports it is also rumored that America is very much irritated with the attitude of PML-N and will NOT prefer a leadership with PML-N and hence is working to put them in the opposition.

Despite all the overwhelming support with which the Pakistani nation has over thrown Musharraf and his attempts to Americanize Pakistan out the window. its sad to see these new leaders wheeling and dealing with America, which should have at best been shown the door back to Washington. Pakistan needs a chance to taste democracy not be treated to another government propped up on the basis of the likes and dislikes of Washington its barely been two days since the elections and Washington is already playing its dirty role in the politics of other nations

[Rumor Mill is generally what is being heard through the grapevine in Pakistan, it can all be negated but is very important to read the tea leaves as Pakistan definitely has a strong rumor mill in critical situations like these and most often they have been proven correct]

Update Link: Asia Times Online – Pakistan sifts through election aftermath

Government thinking of releasing CJP

Breaking News on Geo tv saying that the: Government is actually thinking of ending C.J Iftikhar Chaudhry’s house arrest

This is an important development worth keeping an eye on as Nawaz Sharif has taken oath from all its candidates that they will work towards the restoration of the Nov 3 judiciary

Pakistan Elections: Free, Fair and Transparent

Guest Blog by temporal who blogs at Baithak

The Pakistan elections are over and the people have spoken. But have they been heard?

It is after midnight Pakistan time and the results are trickling in. It appears from early results that PML (Q) the king’s party has received a massive defeat. And both opposition parties, the PML (N) and PPPP are surging ahead.

In the next day or two we will find out the total combined seats for PML (N) and PPPP. As of this moment they have 45 and 38 seats respectively for a total of 83.

Here is where the IF game comes into play.

Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari are unlikely allies. Both the parties have been vindictive against each other and had initiated cases of corruption and abuse of power against the other when in power that are still pending before the courts.
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Missing Vote / Disenfranchisement

These elections have been confusing, many claim it to be free and fair, while others have a different point of view, though my blog is brim full of stories of the other side I care to only share now my own personal experience at having gone out to vote.

Did I want to vote? Plain and simple NO, Then Why Did I go to Vote? the answer was simply to nullify by vote so no one else could use the ballot. Was it legal? I don’t know? Was it my democratic right? I believe it should be, if I don’t have a candidate worthy of my vote I must have a way to say I do not agree, yet exercise my vote.

All day I had decided not to vote but when stories started coming in about blatant rigging. I scrambled and decided to nullify my vote. I went to my polling station, only to stand there for over an hour hunting for my name and not having found it, despite the fact that I had voted in the past few elections from 1997 and even seconded a candidate in 2002, but this time around I found my name absent from the voting list entirely even not traceable on the ECP Website as well.
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Update @ 0101: Very Low Turnout & Ikhtiar Baig

Posted by a voter from the NA-250 constituency on the People’s Resistance Network

I went to vote at NA 250 (DHA College, next to Defence Imambargh). My name and my parents’ names were not on the list. We ran into Mirza Ikhtiar Baig [PPP candidate of that area] (along with his 8 body guards who had huge, really intimidating machine guns) who said “Wait for ten minutes, we are setting up a computer with all the names, you can do at least that much for your sister Benazir.” We waited, the computer never came.

I went into the room where votes were being cast. The officer could not find our names As she was trying to find out names, I saw the list where she was cutting off names of those who had voted. By 4:30pm, literally 1 or maximum 2 names were cut on each page. The woman said barely 100 women voted since morning. She said that most of the people who came were like us, whose names were not on the list.

I did not see any blatant rigging, but definitely saw a miserably low voter turnout.

Election irregularities being reported on other Blogs

There are some interesting reports emerging on other blogs in Pakistan. Follow the links here

  • KO: My voting experience in the 2008 elections, where he shares his voting experience
    • KO’s own family where out of 10 people, only two were on the list, so 8 couldn’t vote.
    • His friends: Went to vote, his vote had already been cast. After making a big fuss, they offered to let him vote in someone else’s name, at which point he left.
    • His aunt: She voted thrice. I don’t know why. She went to vote, than she went back twice, and was able to vote again.
    • Another of KO’s relative: A party offered to vote for him, if he would only give his ID number to them – as he too wasn’t registered on the electoral list. (he is a registered voter, having voted 4-5 times before, but not on the list for this elections.) This happened at numerous places.
  • Karachi Metroblogs: Elections 2008 – Rigging Inc. Where A. Hamza shares his voting experience with images
  • The Guardian News Blogs are extensively covering the election fiasco with a comment from Jemima Khan as well ‘This is my third consecutive election campaign. This time I’m only here as an ex-wife and an observer … the conspiracy theories and dining-room debates in Pakistan are all gratifyingly similar …everything else about this election feels different, though … above all there is a palpable sense of fear’
  • France 24 headlines with Election riddled with rigging, says blogosphere
  • Cheers, E. writes Cheated. Robbed. Rigged!
  • Karachi MetroblogsDhandli in NA-249
  • PkPolitics140% Turnout in Karachi

If you find an interesting link worth sharing then please post ti as a link within the comments and we will try our best to update the post ASAP

Report from NA-250

Received from Noman on the People’s Resistance network

Voting was very smooth at Jennings School (near Cantt station) and no complaints were seen or reported. MQM and PPP were both largely peaceful throughout the day.

Just after polling ended at 5, we heard the sound of gunfire coming from a distance. Police arrived immediately (quite unbelievable but swift response). We were told that unknown people had fired in front of Cantt Public School (at gate opposite Askari apartments), a distance of less than a kilometer from where I was.

Later on, when I spoke to the police officer standing nearby (ASI), he told me it was PPP supporters who fired in the air after one of their workers was slapped by an MQM worker. The police stopped MQM from showing “strength” by return fire. The good thing was that parties from both camps talked to each other and pulled away. Both parties claimed they had licensed weapons. I confirmed this police version from both MQM and PPP camps.

Four vans of rangers were still there till about 730 pm.

Update @ 1902: Reports of Voting Irregulatires across Karachi

pakistan election riggingShared from the People’s Resistance network who talked to various people in the NA-253 constituency

Account 1: Voter was not registered but still went to polling station. she was told that she could still vote, and a ballot for someone who hadn’t shown up was given to her. For her spouse, who was not present, the vote would be taken care off, if she gave his nic no. he was also not registered. this was done.

Account 2: Voted on copy of National Identity Card

Account 3: Had to go to 10 polling stations looking for names of family who always vote. At the other polling stations, particularly th first, the staff would not try to find names on the lists, and pretended they had found one name, but when asked to read it out, it was wrong. from the MQM stall the incharge gave ballots of other people so that these people could vote. followed them and indicated to others that they would not let them around.

They didn’t vote there and went to 10 polling stations to look for their entries. finally found one which was quite far away and difficult to find. here the staff was operating as it should.

Account 4: Voted 8 times. Gulistan-e-Jauhar area

Update 1800: Observations from another voter

pakistan election riggingPosted by Faris Kasim of the People’s Resistance network

I was lucky enough to visit two very different polling stations today, clearly showing the inherent classism and divisions in Karachi (Pakistani) society today.

I first went to my polling station in Bath Island, NA-250 with my family and was really impressed by the arrangements. Policemen politely guided us to the right section, where I had to stand in a proper line for about 10 minutes before the first person checked my name on a clear voter’s list. He read my N.I.C # out loud and this was confirmed by 3 officials in one corner of the room. My father’s and my brothers name were clearly visible on the voter list as well. He put the black mark on my right thumb and asked me to proceed to the next table where two people responsible for handing out the National & Provincial balloting papers were sitting. After marking my candidates, I folded the balloting papers and asked the official if i had done them correctly, dropped them into the boxes and left happily. Maybe one reason for this order was because a European photographer was roaming around the polling station with a BBC Urdu crew.

Cowasjee was present in the room and was being interviewed by BBC. As always he commented, ‘Hona kia hay, salaa phir wohi ghundaa logh aaye gah!’ hahahahaha

The other polling station I visited was in Malir Halt, opposite to the airport, NA-256. This is a core MQM area and rigging is expected here. I dropped my grandmother and mother to the ladies polling area and this is what they’ve told me: ‘There were only 3 – 4 women standing in a line to go through the voting process (including my grandmother and mother) while the room was filled with nearly a dozen women, who were just standing around laughing and chatting. The tables were in a mess and no one was really bothering to mark the thumb, checking the voting list or even confirming the N.I.C #. Amazingly, women were being ASKED to put stamp the ‘kite’ section while the cardboard screen was lying on the corner, facing the wrong way! My mother was furious and told the ladies there to give my grandmother some room so she could use the cardboard area. When they were dropping the balloting papers in the boxes, two random women were staring hard to see what she had stamped.
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Rigging in Gulistan-e-Jauhar

pakistan election riggingReport from NA-256

Report appearing on the People’s Resistance network

I live in Gulistan-e-Johar. We went to the polling station to cast our vote at around 3 pm. and we were surprised to see the transparent rigging…..

There was only the MQM agents that were present there and none of the PPP or any other party for that matter had their representatives there. The rigging took place so obviously and clearly that I felt out of place.

14 year old kids were casting votes .. my niece was told to cast one.. not only that on my joke to a female polling assistant that if i can cast more votes she said.. that one can but only to the winning party…but in the light of clear conscious I refused.

Not only that one’s NIC is not being checked and even while stamping there is always someone that is present on your head looking over your shoulder..

Where are the agents of other parties.. where are the foreign representatives … where is any authority???